20-04-20

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Monday, 20 April 2020

Free broadband offered to school children and young people leaving care with no access

The Government of Jersey, Digital Jersey and all four local telecoms companies have teamed up to offer a free broadband connection to households with school children and those leaving care, who don’t already have access to one, during the Covid-19 crisis.

The move is to ensure that all children and young people leaving care can continue their education, training and employment by working remotely and interacting with their teachers, lecturers and employers online, while schools remain closed and Stay At Homes measures are in force.

Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “It is essential for the future of our Island, as well as the individuals themselves, that we ensure all school children are given an equal opportunity to education. I am grateful for the support of Digital Jersey and the telecoms providers in ensuring continuity of teaching for all children no matter what their circumstances in these difficult times.”

Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec said: “We would like to thank Digital Jersey and the telecoms providers for offering this to our young people who are leaving care. Earlier this year we launched the Care Leavers Entitlement to ensure that those leaving care receive the same support that any parent would provide for their child. Meeting the needs of young people with care experience is a priority for Government as a good corporate parent.”

Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta said: “We are very lucky in Jersey in that most households have access to the island’s superfast broadband.However, there may be some who do not and it’s important that children and young people who are unable to attend school, college or workduring the crisis, are given access to remote learning and employment. This can be via a physical fibre connection, or mobile broadband if that’s more appropriate. There really is no reason why every one of our children and young people cannot continue their education or employment from home.”

Airtel-Vodafone, Homenet, JT and Sure have all agreed to take part in the offer, which will be limited to the duration of the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ situation and the closure of schools.

Parents and guardians over the age of 18 must apply for the offer and should contact their school or Digital Jersey for further information on how to take advantage of this offer. The Children’s Service will make any necessary arrangements for young people leaving care.

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